What Does a Normal House Look Like in Japan?Japanese homes have undergone significant changes in design and construction over the years. While traditional Japanese homes were constructed out of wood and supported by wooden pillars, modern homes typically feature Western-style rooms with wood flooring and steel pilasters. In this article, we will explore the various aspects of both traditional and modern Japanese home styles.
Construction and Materials Used in Traditional Japanese HomesTraditional Japanese homes are constructed out of wood, in particular, hinoki (Japanese cypress) and sugi (cedar). These woods are known for their durability and ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. The wooden frame structure is supported by wooden pillars called ‘tokobashira,’ which extend from the foundation and carry the weight of the roof. The walls of Japanese homes are made of paper-thin walls called shoji. These walls are made of rice paper and are known for their ability to let in natural light. The shojis are mounted on wooden frames that can be slid open and closed, depending on the weather. Here are some materials typically used in traditional Japanese homes: – Wood (hinoki and sugi) – Rice paper – Clay-based plaster – Bamboo – Straw mat flooring called tatami
Layout and Design of Traditional Japanese HomesThe layout of a traditional Japanese home is open plan, without dividing walls or doors. Instead, sliding doors and partitions called fusuma are used to separate rooms. The design is centered around the ‘tokonoma,’ a recessed alcove in the formal living room where an artwork, flower arrangement or calligraphy is displayed.
Additional features include a sunken floor-level hearth called a ‘irori,’ used for cooking and heating, and paper lanterns to create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
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